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France rules that using the term ‘homophobe’ to describe homophobic groups is defamatory

Meka Beresford November 5, 2016
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A Parisian court has ruled that using the term homophobe to describe somebody is defamatory, despite context.

The ruling comes as Laure Pora, former president of the Paris branch of ACT UP was ordered to pay €800 to the anti-LGBT group La Manif Pour Tous.

On top of that Pora had to cough up the €1500 in judicial costs.

ACT UP staged a protest in 2013 against the Jerome Lejeune Foundation. A pro-life foundation which provide research, care and advocacy for people with genetic intellectual disabilities.

The protest was staged because of the foundations support for La Manif Pour Tous and because they employed Ludivine La Rochère, the founder of the group.

Activists threw condoms filled with fake blood at the wall of the office, and carried posters showing images of La Rochère and La Manif with homophobe printed on them.

La Manif Pour Tous oppose same-sex marriage, adoption rights for same-sex couples, transgender people and gender theory.

The organisation’s lawyer, Henri de Beauregard, said: “Describing La Manif Pour Tous as homophobic is a criminal offence.”

Karine Géronimi, representing ACT UP, called the court’s decision ‘particularly unfair’ and said she couldn’t see an insult.

The courts initially deemed Manif Pour Tous’ complaint “inappropriate for a procedural problem”, reported the french publication Le Monde.

The ruling comes following an anti equality march, which was organised by La Manif Pour Tous, in Paris that drew tens of thousand of people.

The march attracted 80,000 people to the capital who marched to call for the repeal of the Taubira law which legalised same-sex marriage.

Marchers also protested against the use of assisted reproduction techniques and surrogate mothers to enable same-sex couples to have children.

Related topics: ACT UP, Crime, Defamation, Europe, France, homophobe, Law, LGBT, protest

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